NEW YORK — Eminem has given up alcohol and purple pills, according to members of his D12 crew — and that's not the only change the Shady one is going through.

He's "seen the light," they said, and it's going to reflect in his music. Eminem is trading in his hardcore hip-hop MO and going the gospel rap route on his new LP, The Eminem Show, they insisted.

"Em is about to open a church, and we're gonna be his deacons," Proof said Thursday with a straight face.

"He's gonna have Mase on his new album," Bizarre added.

Although it may be true that Em has sobered up (Proof cites his partner's probation for that), it was obvious they were kidding about the religious transformation as they hung out in their hotel room prior to a show at the Hammerstein Ballroom with Gorillaz.

However, during one of their few serious moments, the D12 members did disclose that upcoming songs like "Die Tonight," "We Hate Our Label" and "Sold Our Soul" are more lighthearted than material from Eminem's previous efforts.

"It's not that angry, and it shouldn't be, 'cause he'd be fake," Proof said. "If he's still talking the same sh--, what would be the maturity in it? If he's talking [about how] he's broke or wants to kill everybody, [that won't work anymore.] He's happy now. The muthaf---er got some money. He can't keep saying the same sh--."

Proof said Eminem is sharing the wealth — he gave the D12 rapper a small part in his upcoming semi-autobiographical film, "8 Mile."

"I'm in the movie where I slay Eminem," he said, laughing. "I slay him for real, I'll slay him in the movie. What? It's not even acting. Nah, I play a character that defeats Eminem. I just rap, a little cameo of me kicking my rhyme."

The guys said everything was cool on the set, until the script called for some homes to be set ablaze. Residents of the area, where arson has been a problem, got upset.

"I don't know why Detroit was hating on it like that," Bizarre said. "Them buildings that he was burning down were abandoned houses that kids had been raped in and stuff like that. So basically he was doing them a favor, and he was gonna pay them to do it."